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Two Kuwaiti journalists accused of spying in Abadan--Kuwait summons Iranian Ambassador over arrested journalists.

--Two Kuwaiti Journalists Accused of Spying in Abadan

--Kuwait Summons Iranian Ambassador over Arrested Journalists

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait, Rohallah Qahramani, over the arrest in Iran of two Kuwaiti citizens working as correspondents for a private Kuwaiti television station, reported the pan-Arab daily AL HAYAT Tuesday. The two correspondents, Adel al-Yahya, a lawyer by profession and a presenter at the Al-Adalah (Justice) satellite channel, and freelance cameraman Raed al-Majed, were arrested on espionage charges and illegal entry while filing a report from the southwestern Iranian town of Abadan on Friday.

A press statement said that Kuwaiti Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Khalid al-Jarallah, called in Qahramani "to discuss the matter of the Iranian authorities' arrest of two Kuwaiti citizens," to "ensure their release as fast as possible". He stressed the need for "continuous contact between Kuwait and Iran to ensure the detainees' release."

The official Kuwait News Agency quoted a source within the foreign ministry as "categorically denying any (Iranian) news of accusations against them." It said that "the Kuwaiti citizens are working for a private Kuwaiti television station and were tasked with preparing special social programs for the station." The source also added that they had completed all the necessary paperwork, had the appropriate visas for entry, and had informed the Iranians of the nature of their work. The source mentioned that the two countries are in contact over the matter.

Ties between the two Gulf neighbors have been strained since March when a Kuwaiti court sentenced three people to death and two others to life in prison after convicting them of being members of an Iranian spy ring. The case led to a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats but ambassadors and diplomats returned to the two capitals following a visit to Kuwait City by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on May 11. Kuwait and the other Sunni-ruled Arab monarchies of the Gulf have repeatedly accused mainly Shiite Iran of meddling in their internal affairs and of inciting Shiite-led protests, which rocked Bahrain earlier this year. Manama crushed the pro-democracy protests in mid-March with the help of troops from other Arab states in the region, prompting condemnation by Iran.
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Title Annotation:KUWAIT-IRAN
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 15, 2011
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